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Princess Anne and Kriss Akabusi help celebrate Gloucestershire Olympians

By EchoLauraC  |  Posted: November 09, 2012

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Hundreds gathered at Cheltenham Racecourse this evening to celebrate Gloucestershire's Olympians alongside The Princess Royal.

Princess Anne and Kriss Akabusi were joined by 26 of the county's sporting stars, who have competed in Games from 1948 through to London 2012.

The event was put on by Gloucester Rowing Club in a bid to raise awareness of its £1.5million appeal to build a new rowing and canoeing facility.

There were Gloucestershire rowers galore with Pete Reed, Alex Gregory and Zac Purchase all at the event.

Olympian Beth Rodford, who's parents live in Hucclecote, was pleased to be part of the event in support of the club she joined aged 12.

She said: "It is so nice to see so many people here and we've been working really hard for the event to come together. It has taken a lot of phone calls and pestering.

"The event is so important to the club and I have been a member there for 17 years and the new build is so important to it growing and developing.

"I think I would have been a very different person without the club. All my life decisions have been made around rowing, like what university to go to and where to live and work.

"I was always a shy child and rowing and the club helped me to find something I was good at."

Dressage champions Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin, Paralympian Mel Nicholls and hockey player Ashleigh Ball were among the guests.

Waterpolo player Jack Jones, hockey player Denys Carnill and Eddie 'The Eagle' Edwards were also there.

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